Sir: As upsetting and pointless as is the National Trust’s cancelling of the fishing lease on the River Test at Mottisfont Abbey (Letters, 19 August), it is all of a piece with the way the National Trust is going. On the 13,000-acre Wallington Estate in Northumberland, the Trust has recently spent a small fortune elaborately fencing off 50 acres to release beavers on one of the two farms they have recently taken out of agricultural production. They trumpet their intention to create ‘Wild Wallington’ by abandoning it to nature and planting trees on as much of the estate’s farmland as they can. The farms at Wallington were wrested from bleak and barren heath and moorland in the 18th century by the vision and riches of Sir Walter Blackett, who bought vast areas and turned it into some of the most fertile farmland in England. At the same time as China announces its intention to bring more land into cultivation to be self-sufficient in food, the short-sighted NT are hellbent on famine.
Scots Gap, Northumberland
Nearest and dearest
Sir: For many years now I have supported Halesowen Town as they are the nearest team to me. I hardly ever miss a home game and try to get to as many away fixtures as I can (‘Leagues apart’, 19 August). The beauty of non-League football is to be able to sit or stand where you like and cheer for your own team without any ill will from opposition supporters. It’s very rare for any trouble to kick off, and there is the added bonus that you can have a drink and take it on the terraces with you. Being in close proximity to the pitch also means you can enjoy ‘banter’ with opposition players, match officials and the like. I would urge anyone who fancies watching a game of real football to find out when their nearest team is next playing and to get down there and enjoy it.